Psalm 58

1 Do ye indeed in silence speak righteousness ?
Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?
2 Nay, in heart ye work wickedness;
Ye weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.

1- 10. Against those who were of the church who cherished evil thoughts against the Lord: they are in mere falsities of evil, of which they perish. P. P.

3-6. See Psalm xviii. 49. A. 6353.

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb:
They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent:
They are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear,

3, 5. Poison in the Word signifies guile, and poisonous serpents such as asps or adders, cockatrices and vipers signify those who are full of guile. A. 9013.

4 Being estranged from the womb means from the good which is of the church, and going astray from the belly means going astray from truth. A. 4918.

See Psalm xxii. 11. E. 622.

It is not understood that the impious are estranged from the womb and that they go astray from the belly, that is from the first birth, for no one from that is estranged from God and goes astray, but to be estranged from the womb means to recede from good to evil from the first day when they could be reformed. To go astray from the belly means to recede in like manner from truths to falses. To speak a lie also signifies to believe falses. The reason why it is said that they recede from the first day when they could be reformed is, because the Lord is in the endeavour to reform all, whosoever they may be, beginning from childhood and continuing through adolescence to youth, but they who do not allow themselves to be reformed are said immediately to recede. E. 710.

4-6. Reasonings which are such that they do not even hear what is wise or the voice of the wise are here called the poison of a serpent. Hence came the form of speech among the ancients that the serpent stoppeth her ear. A. 195.

5 Serpents in the Word signify the sensual man as to craftiness or subtlety, and as to prudence. In these passages the devil or hell is called a serpent. E. 581.

5 Which hearkeneth not to the voice of charmers,
Charming never so wisely.

5, 6. Enchantment signifies the rejection of falsity by truths, which was also done by tacitly thinking and muttering charms from a zeal for truth against falsity. R. 462.
Such enchantments the prophets were skilled in. They also used them to excite by them good affections, hearing, and obedience, and these enchantments are mentioned in a good sense in the Word. E. 590.

By witchcraft is signified nearly the same as by incantation, and incantation signifies such persuasion that the person persuaded is rendered incapable of perceiving any otherwise. E. 1191.

7 See Psalm lvii. 5. A. 6367.

6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth:
Break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Jehovah,
7 Let them melt away as water that runneth apace:
When he aimeth his arrows, let them be as though they
were cut off.
8 Let them be as a snail which melteth and passeth away,
Like the untimely birth of a woman, that hath not seen
the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the thorns,
He will take them away with a whirlwind, the green
and the burning alike.

Teeth and jaw — Joel i. 6, 7 — stand for the falsities that destroy the truths of the church. A. 9052. See Psalm lvii. 5. R- 435-

By their teeth in their mouth are signified the scientifics from which they produce falsities. The great teeth of the young lions signify the truths of the Word falsified, which in themselves are falsities and by which they especially prevail in effecting the destruction of the truths of the church. E. 556.

7, 8. See Psalm xvii. 12. R. 241.

See Psalm xvii. 12. E. 278.

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance:
He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked;
11 So that men shall say, Verily there is a reward for the
Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth.

11, 12. So that those who are in good may come into the church. P. P.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)